Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Western Pieties & The Idea of Fulness


The Fullness of the Fullness of Orthodox Piety in the Western Rite

“We who would be Orthodox Christians in the western liturgical tradition, however, have an especially difficult path to follow, and it is here, brethren, that we need to comprehend the fullness of the Mystery of Christ as fully as possible, that our efforts to restore the fullness of Orthodoxy within the West may be fruitful. Western Rite Orthodoxy is not an excuse to continue the bad habits, devotional forms, thought processes, or liturgical practice of the West after the schism of Rome, for these too, spring from reductions of the Mystery of the fullness of Christ. It is rather an opportunity not only to recreate in Western forms that fullness of rich dogmatic and liturgical expression so characteristic of the Eastern liturgical tradition, but it is likewise an opportunity to restore those liturgical forms that have, either through spiritual indolence or innocent ignorance, fallen into desuetude in the West, specifically the wonderful and richly spiritual texts of the full cycle of services for Holy Week: the Tenebrae offices, the Maundy, the Solemn Reproaches and Entombment services of Good Friday, the blessing of the Font and the Kindling of the Paschal Fire and the magnificent hymn, the Exultet of the Holy Sabbath and Holy Pascha. We have a measure of our successes or failures if we ask ourselves this one simple question: how many of us have seen, much less celebrated, these services? If you have not, beloved brethren, then you have work to do.” – Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, Pastoral Nativity Letter, 1997

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January 17, 2008 - Posted by | Western Rite Pieties | , , ,

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